“Commercial” writer. Damn right.

The conversation usually begins like this:

“What do you do?”

“Im a writer.”

“Ooohhh.Cool! What do you write?”

“Web content. Brochures. Presentations. Reports–”

“Oh. Commercial writer.”

At this point the person sniffs, sensing rot in the air and I have become a woman sitting on her groc-er-ies, as Joni Mitchell says.

For years I resisted calling myself a writer for this reason: Copywriters are not real writers.
The copywriters I’ve worked with are among the most talented, creative, disciplined people I know. They also happen to be some of the funniest, caring, sensitive and productive people on the planet. Halifax’s Eric Wood springs to mind.

The conversation usually ends with:

“Maybe someday you’ll get to write for yourself.”

While I appreciate the sentiment behind that thought, it makes me bristle.

I/we are working for ourselves. Even if we’re working for an agency. We’re driven to find a beautiful, creative solution to a problem.

Some of us may have a novel clawing its way out on weekends, but in the meantime we’re reaching into our souls and working with integrity to help people who trust us.

Doesn’t sound like rob-er-ry to me.

8 Responses to ““Commercial” writer. Damn right.”

  1. Eric Wood says:

    Hey Cathy! Congrats on the new site and blog. Thanks for the shout out. I feel honoured, especially from you. I hear you you the “trust” thing. I think my whole career has been built on “trust”.

    • Cathy says:

      That’s why you’re so successful and everyone loves working with you. Thanks for the congrats – and thanks to Colin Busby for getting this site up in record time!

  2. pat finney says:

    Hi Cathy: Enjoying this page! Does small town newspaper editor/writer qualify as “commercial”? I hope so :) There’s some great writing going on, buried on page 11 of newspapers everywhere, and it’s been done on a budget, on a deadline, alone in front of a monitor. More respect needed across the board.

    In the meantime, Happy Holidays to you both.

  3. jo-anne simmonds says:

    I have always been envious of writer’s. They are the creators of sentences made up of perfect words. I always wanted to create perfect sentences, but never had the words. Couldn’t find the words. Even in letter writing…wasn’t so easy! Writer’s, well they just have a creative sense of words. One thing I know for sure, whatever kind of writer you want to call them…a writer, is a writer, is a writer. Simple and wonderful as that! I love writer’s!

  4. Cathy says:

    Wow! Thanks for the endorsement. Damn. I need to get writing more!

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